Jack & Jill Center Appoints New Director of Elementary Education & Director of Early Education
Jack & Jill Center is pleased to welcome Michelle Turner, Ed.S. as its Director of Elementary Education for its Madelaine Halmos Academy's (MHA) new state-of-the-art private elementary school campus in Fort Lauderdale and Ashley King as its Director of Early Education for its Early Education Program. The Academy is an expansion of Jack & Jill Center’s Early Education Center and debuted in its new building in June 2021. MHA’s new building will create 37 new full-time jobs.
Jack & Jill Center supports children of high-need working families through quality early childhood education, elementary education, family strengthening and health programs to ensure every child and family has the tools they need to be successful. Jack & Jill Center has served 26,000 children and families in South Florida since 1942.
Turner has 25 years of educational leadership experience and throughout her career has served as a tutor, mentor, elementary teacher, curriculum writer, principal, education consultant and entrepreneur. She most recently served as a Senior Level Education Consultant for several professional consulting firms in Mississippi, supporting the transformation of diverse public schools into higher performance levels with standards-based alignment, team collaboration, community resources and researched based practices. A strong advocate for academic success, Turner headed the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools reaccreditation for two public schools and served on committees to examine district strategic action plans.
In her role of Director of Elementary Education, Turner will lead and oversee all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the MHA and Out-of-School Time programs, including the aftercare program and summer camp. She will serve as an innovative leader within Jack & Jill Center, partnering collaboratively with all departments to ensure the organizational culture is thriving within the Elementary department. Turner is responsible for developing and maintaining the mission and culture of the school to align with that of the organization.
King began her career at Jack & Jill Center in 2011 and has more than 15 years of experience teaching and working with children and families. King also has a decade of experience providing individual, family and group therapy, as well as case management. During her tenure at the Center, King has held the titles of Family Program Manager and Director of Student Services & Case Management. She led the expansion of student services and case management for the organization to include building a Social Work internship program, and adding various services to ensure children reach their full potential.
In her role of Director of Early Education, King will be responsible for leading and managing the day-to-day operations of the Early Education program at MHA. She will serve as an innovative leader within the organization, partnering collaboratively with all departments to ensure the organizational culture is thriving within the Early Education department.
Both Turner and King will use research-based best practices, an equity lens, quality initiatives, and input from a variety of stakeholders to lead a culture of continuous improvement to ensure high expectations and outcomes for our scholars, educators and other stakeholders.
“We’re excited to welcome Michelle and Ashley to our team of exceptional education leaders,” said Heather Siskind CEO of Jack & Jill Center. “Both of these individuals are experts in their dedicated practice areas and their hard work and dedication have proven them to be essential assets to our team.”
MHA’s kindergarten through fifth grade program currently serves 126 total students from high-need families, including early education and elementary school education, who benefit from the Jack & Jill education program. MHA has the capabilities to serve 220 students total and is projected to reach that goal by 2024. The Early Education Program serves 140 children infant through VPK.
Early education is offered year-round at Jack & Jill Center, which has earned the highest level of accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and one of only a few in Broward County to be awarded with this accreditation. Most MHA students come from high-need families and receive tuition funding from Step Up for Students, a state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organization that helps administer five scholarships for Florida school children.
MHA provides a safe, academically sound and socially supportive environment for all learners. With its new building, MHA significantly extended its offerings by providing an accredited school incorporating research-based best practices. Some of MHA’s features include a technology-driven STEAM curriculum; dedicated, highly-skilled staff and educators with low student to teacher ratios; extended school day for students; daily healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks; extracurricular activities fostering healthy social-emotional growth and personal development, educational field trips, after-school programming, summer camp experiences, and on-site counseling and therapeutic services.
Each child who continues his or her education to graduate from high school will receive a two-year college scholarship from the Jack & Jill Center Opportunity Scholarship Fund. The sponsorship is graciously funded by
Steve and Madelaine Halmos.
For more information about Jack & Jill visit www.jackandjillcenter.org.